Women mix it up with the boys
ONCE upon a time, women were given only one chance to race at Mothar Mountain in a “ladies race”, held once a season. Now, women are putting on the race gear and mixing it up with the boys all season.
Junior drivers (aged 10 to 17) are seeing the success of our women that have gone up the ranks of the speedway.
December 11 sees the women take to the track as the Gympie Saloon Car Club is hosting a Women in Speedway event to promote those women who are out there each weekend, and encourage those who are new to the sport, or sitting out in the crowd thinking about joining in.
The Gympie Saloon Car Club has a range of talent, starting with the more experienced female drivers – Sarah Franz, Tegan Jennings, Tiffany O’Keeffe, Laurie Wicks, and Jessica Raymont.
Franz placed third in last season’s Qld Street Sedan title, making her the first woman to have a podium position in 25 years of Street Sedan racing.
Franz, Jennings, O’Keefe and Raymont all started their driving careers in Junior Street Sedans.
Raymont took out first place in the inaugural Qld Junior Street Sedan Title in 2005. Jennings is a third generation speedway driver – her grandfather Tom Jennings won a state title in 1971, and her father Allan Jennings placed 3rd in a state title in 1985; he is the current GSCC president, QSCA state steward and SSA national stewards advisor.
The next group of drivers are those that have been involved in the sport for some time but are fairly new to driving: Chrisy Scotney, Dianne McKeiver, Sonia Budgen, Selina English and Sonia Matthews.
Gympie will see some drivers who have not driven for some time for various reasons: Michelle Barbeler, Dianne Packer and Kaye Arthur.
New drivers like Robyn Falkenhagen and Donna McLaughlin-Peacock are ready to drive for the first time. Falkenhagen has been a passenger for Neil Keldoulis for a while but will switch places in the next meet, while McLaughlin-Peacock has been watching her children drive.